Why You Don’t Ride: C.B., Venice

Why You Ride (or Don't)Why You Ride (or Don’t Ride)‘ is a series where you, our faithful readers, share your transportation routines in L.A. and your thoughts on how to make things better – read more about the concept here.

Want to share your story? Take the survey here if you ride transit regularly, or take this one if you don’t ride.

Who You Are:

Name: C.B.
Occupation: Self employed
Location: Venice

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

We don’t unless we have to travel distances.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Exploring parts of LA

How many vehicles do you or your family have?

One.

How long does your commute typically take?

Work at home – but would love to explore the city without driving.

Briefly, how would you describe your typical driving experience? Love it, deal with it, or hate it?

I hate it. There has to be a better way.

On average, what do you spend each month on transportation?

Less than $50

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?

We walk everywhere within a 5 mile area!!

Why do you drive?

Unfortunately , L.A. is so spread out with poor express bus service.  The Expo Line will be interesting.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

I want to! Very much — fix the transfer times, get real express buses, etc.

Have you tried to use transit before? What was your experience?

Yes.

They should have a free day once a month — to encourage people to try the bus/rail.

Everyone in L.A. should experience public transportation — then maybe we can all do something to make it better.

What could local transit agencies do to encourage you to take transit more often?

My husband and I recently moved here from NYC.  Sadly, we want very much to take public transport but the transfers on the bus lines are poorly timed. Is the city monitoring them? Sometimes we will wait 45 minutes for a transfer and then see 3 buses arrive at the same time.

In NY they would radio buses, hold buses, etc, to balance out the flow of connections.  So now we only ride about once a week to the Promenade -to have a few beers, dont drink and drive.

I also think that every restaurant and bar should have to post the various bus, metro routes located nearest them.  Take the mystery out of riding the bus – but please improve the transfer times.! Lastly – how about a real express bus from Venice/Santa Monica area directly to downtown LA!  Maybe then we could actually check the area out !

How do you feel about buses?

I’d ride a bus if there was a route that served my needs.

How do you feel about rail?

I’d ride rail if it there was a route that served my needs.

Given limited funds, how would you address L.A.’s transportation issues?

Get more express buses. Reduce some of the local stops.  People would walk 5-10 blocks to catch a more efficient bus.

Put a rail system down the divider medians of the expressways — like in Chicago.

It’s a shame a city the size of L.A. is so behind the times with public transit.  Every city in the world has a better system — it’s shameful — especially since California acts like it’s so ecologically minded. Hah!

4 replies

  1. Very well said! I love the direct Venice/Santa Monica Bus idea. Making it a Venice pick up instead might work even better once the Expo Phase 2 to picks people up in Santa Monica.
    I think a Rail system down the divider median of all the major expressways is the only way LA will be looked at as a truly world class city when it comes to public transit. It may also be the only way we will avoid suffocating ourselves with our own cars by 2050.
    I’m sure it would cost 25 Billion, but will our current system cost us over the next 40 years and beyond if we don’t work on making a change right now? We should be thinking of our cities future.

  2. There’s already the Big Blue Bus 10 that is the direct express bus service between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles. Maybe a tweak at the end of the line for one or two stops at Venice beach should be explored. However, the new Rapid 733 is a fantastic service that gets to downtown LA from Venice less than an hour.

  3. Along with the 733 – Venice to Downtown LA, there’s the Rapid 704 from Santa Monica to Downtown (runs along Santa Monica Blvd.) and the Rapid 720 from Santa Monica to Montebello (Runs along Wilshire Blvd.) Check those also.

  4. Big Blue Bus 10 is tremendously useful–I only wish that it would run in the evenings. But on a midday trip, it does spend about 20 minutes on the street in Santa Monica/West LA before getting on the freeway, 20 minutes on the freeway, and 20 minutes on the street in downtown. If you’re traveling to near (or past) the end of the line it doesn’t feel so express. Presumably the Expo Line will change the equation, especially when the Regional Connector gets built.